This is the beginning of a 17-minute speech by the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, in which the Australian government, as one of the British Dominions, declares war on Germany in 1939.
The entire speech can be heard and read on the Australian Screen Online website. It’s an amazing resource of Australian audio and video.
You can find out more about R.G. Menzies at MenziesVirtualMuseum.org.
R. G. Menzies: : Fellow Australians,
It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.
No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement.
Great Britain and France with the cooperation of the British Dominions have struggled to avoid this tragedy. They have, as I firmly believe, been patient. They have kept the door of negotiation open. They have given no cause for aggression.
But in the result their efforts have failed and we are therefore, as a great family of nations, involved in a struggle which we must at all costs win and which we believe in our hearts we will win.